In November 2018, I became the first person to reach 500 accepted solutions on the HubSpot Community. If you're not familiar with the HubSpot Community, it's a place where all HubSpot users can connect with each other, whether they're sharing best practices, asking (or answering) questions, or simply sharing their passion for helping others see inbound success.
To mark the occasion, I wanted to reflect on what motivates me to provide so much help and support to HubSpot users of all levels on the HubSpot Community. I also want to share what you can get from the HubSpot Community — whatever your level or type of HubSpot use case — and how to get the best responses when you do post questions there.
How HubSpot Helped Blend Grow Better
This story starts when Blend was a three-year-old B2B marketing agency. We were successful, but — like many agencies — we had big ups and downs. We believed we could achieve more, thanks to our commercially and technically informed approach, but had yet to realize our full potential.
We identified that the service we wanted to offer was strikingly similar to the inbound methodology and saw that automation was fast becoming essential in competitive B2B markets. We looked around, tested different systems, and absolutely fell in love with HubSpot — not just the technology, but the company and the people.
As a result, we joined the HubSpot Partner Program in Fall 2013.
It turned out that HubSpot's marketing technology was the missing piece in our puzzle, and putting it in place rapidly translated into the results we were after — a more transparent, measurable, scalable, reliable, and valuable service for our customers, as well as success for them and us.
In 2018 we became HubSpot Diamond partners — only the second UK agency to do so.
Now HubSpot Is Helping Many More Businesses Grow Better
When we joined the partner program, HubSpot was simply a great, professional inbound marketing software. Now, with Free and Starter products for not just marketing but also in sales and service, HubSpot's helping more and more businesses grow better. The suite of products, together forming a powerful growth platform, are helping businesses of all sizes align themselves with the modern realities of buying behavior and spin their flywheel faster.
The growth — in the depth and breadth of the product, in the addressable market size, and in the mission — spurred the creation of the HubSpot Community, a place where help and advice could be scaled to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes using HubSpot to grow.
Why I Contribute to the HubSpot Community
My contribution to the HubSpot Community is, in part, me repaying some of my gratitude to HubSpot for what they've done for my business. We're a growing, successful, thriving agency, and HubSpot has played a key role in that success. Their product, mentoring, and support has been invaluable. So, to say thank you, I do my bit to support businesses who can’t necessarily afford Professional or Enterprise licenses but who nonetheless want to grow better.
Taking part in the many different discussions on the HubSpot Community also helps me stay sharp in the growing software. HubSpot Community posters are often using parts of the platform that I don't necessarily touch every day when working with Blends clients, so they provide me with the opportunity to explore and experiment, applying my experience to their operations and provide what I hope is accurate and insightful suggestions.
Last but not least, my being one of the top solution providers on the HubSpot Community is rewarding for Blend. It gets our name in front of many potential future customers and associates our name with honest, expert practical advice — a value which we maintain throughout every customer engagement.
What the HubSpot Community Offers HubSpot Users
Community has something to offer for all levels of HubSpot users, from Free right through to Enterprise.
Free and Starter users can, of course, use Community to gain supplementary technical support that HubSpot, understandably, cannot provide over the phone.
But all users, including those with Professional and Enterprise licences, can use the HubSpot Community to access not only technical insight, but practitioner advice and best practices. I and other top solution providers love to look past the surface of a question and share insights and experiences that we think will not just solve a user's problem, but hopefully make their marketing more effective.
You can also ask questions on the HubSpot Community that don’t call for a technical solution at all. Just ask the various thought leaders that are active for their opinion on a marketing challenge or idea. I think I speak for us all when I say that we're happy to give you the benefit of our experiences.
How to Get the Most out of the HubSpot Community
Like any online forum, there are a number of steps you can take to make sure you get the best results when engaging with the HubSpot Community.
1. Search for previous posts
Before posting anything, naturally you should check to see if the same questions have been asked and solved before. So the first thing you should do is use the search bar to search the forum for posts that are similar to the question you're thinking of posting.
When you search, posts with accepted solutions will have a Solved label on them, helping you find your solution faster.
You can also use Google to discover existing community posts, and solved ones will display [solved] in their SERP title.
2. Check for existing ideas
If you're posting an idea for a new feature or requesting something that you know isn't supported currently, check for existing entries in the ideas forum.
Voting on existing ideas is more powerful than creating a duplicate, as HubSpot's product teams look at the ideas with the most votes to get a sense of what the community wants them to prioritize.
3. Find the right forum
Posting your question in the right place is key to making sure the people best placed to answer you see your question as soon as possible.
While there are some people, like me, that help wherever they can, we're also lucky to have the support of several subject matter experts in areas like HubSpot development and integrations. These experts are likely to check the most relevant forums, like Design or Marketing Integrations, more often than others.
4. Share useful information
The more information you can share about your question or challenge, particularly the tricky ones, the better.
The most useful information to share is what products and tiers you have, any relevant settings or configurations, and any error messages or solutions you've already tried. All these can help other Community members more quickly establish your best course of action.
Images are — of course — useful, but be careful not to share any sensitive information. I like to use a screen grab tool where I can blur anything I don't want others to see.
5. Respond to questions and suggestions
Sometimes those helping you need to ask for more information or run several possible options past you before the best solution can be identified.
Being responsive and willing to consider, or test, multiple approaches helps others stick with you until your problem is solved, getting you the best possible outcome.
6. Accept a solution
Marking your question as solved is the important last step in any HubSpot Community post. It saves time for other users who may have the same question, as they'll see that the post has an accepted solution when searching, both on the HubSpot Community and in Google. This gets them to the answer more quickly and reduces the amount of duplication in the forum.
If an answer has been provided that doesn't meet your particular requirements but is still a solution to your question, consider marking it solved anyway, as other users may have the same root problem, and marking it as solved will accelerate their learning.
HubSpot Community for the Win
So there you have it. For me, the HubSpot Community has become a vibrant place where I can exercise my passion for HubSpot and inbound and where I can do my bit help other HubSpot users grow better.
Whatever your level of HubSpot skill or marketing experience, I recommend taking part in the conversation. The HubSpot Community has something to offer everyone, and everyone has something to offer it.
Originally published Dec 17, 2018 8:00:00 AM, updated February 05 2019